- Editor's Rating
- Solid performance and speed
- Honeycomb interface is slick and user-friendly
- Lots of pre-loaded apps
- 3D is a big letdown
- Awkwardly sized
- Browsing and connectivity can be buggy
An anaglyph 3D-capable tablet from LG, the G-Slate is an otherwise run-of-the-mill Honeycomb tablet that delivers solid performance, but little more.
The LG G-Slate is an 8.9-inch tablet that joins the ranks of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb devices that are slowly beginning to roll out. With the full, official title of T-Mobile G-Slate with Google from LG, it may sound complicated, but aside from its sub-par 3D capabilities, it actually turned out to be a relatively plain — though still solid — tablet with a handful of drawbacks.
BUILD & DESIGN
The G-Slate, which LG, members of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, was kind enough to lend us for review, has a somewhat unique build, at least in terms of what is currently available in the tablet market. It measures at 9.56 x 5.88 x 0.49 inches and sports an 8.9-inch, multi-touch 1280 x 768 display. As such, this reviewer found it to be sort of an awkward size; it isn’t small enough to comfortably hold one-handed for extended periods of time (like the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the BlackBerry Playbook), especially considering that it weighs in at a slightly heftier 1.37 pounds. But on the other hand, it doesn’t quite get to enjoy the benefits of a large-screen tablet like the iPad 2 or the Motorola Xoom, either. Ultimately, it’s really a matter of preference — and clearly not a “poor” decision, considering the impending release of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 — but I just didn’t find it to be the most comfortable device in the world to hold.
Still, the G-Slate has a very solid build that has a quality feel to it. It has a slightly textured back, but I think I would have preferred a fully rubberized surface back there, like the Motorola Xoom. It also features a number of ports and controls; if you’re holding it in landscape position, the power/sleep button is on the left side, the mini USB and mini HDMI ports are on the bottom, the microphone and volume rocker is on the top, and the two (stereoscopic) cameras are located on the back. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of an HDMI port, which allowed me to put the display of my tablet on my TV. At 1280 x 768, it may not have been the prettiest thing in the world on a 46-inch screen — nor was it true HD — but it’s still a handy inclusion that allows users to view any of the high-def media from their tablet on a larger screen at a respectable resolution.
In a couple of especially clever design choices, the front-facing camera and speakers are placed in such a way that maximizes functionality regardless of the G-Slate’s orientation. If held in the landscape position, the camera is on the upper left-hand corner, placing it on the upper right-hand corner if held in portrait position. This would prevent, say, having the camera on the right side of the frame in portrait orientation (if it was located top and center in landscape), which would require holding the tablet at odd angles to get your face in the shot during video chats and the like.
Meanwhile, there are three speakers total in an effort to always provide stereo sound; when held horizontally, there is one speaker on the left side and two on the right. This way, when held vertically, there’s still a left and right speaker located on the top edge.
LG G-Slate Specs:
- Android Honeycomb (3.0)
- 8.9-inch diagonal capacitive touchscreen (1280 x 768 HD)
- NVIDIA Tegra 2 T250, 1 GHz dual core
- 1GB RAM
- 32GB internal memory
- Front-facing 2.0 megapixel webcam, dual rear 5.0 megapixel cameras with flash
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G capable (GSM, HSPA+)
- Micro USB port, mini HDMI out, 3.5mm input
- 9.56 x 5.88 x 0.49 inches
- 1.37 pounds
- Price at Launch: $749.99 w/o contract, $529.99 with two-year agreement with T-Mobile